Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, who is under fire over his alleged involvement in the sugar crisis, has questioned the criteria behind the audit of his nine sugar mills and the selection process by the committee formed to probe the matter.
The PTI leader said that he does not object to the audit of his sugar mills under the committee.
“Will the commission discover the reality behind all the sugar mills in Pakistan after conducting an audit of the nine mills?” said the businessman.
The PTI senior leader reportedly had a fallout with Prime Minister Imran Khan after a Federal Investigation Agency’s report on the sugar crisis named him, along with Khusro Bakhtiar’s brother, as persons who benefitted the most from the episode.
Following the investigation into the price hike that came under the premier’s radar back in February, the report stirred up a storm for some top ministers and PTI leaders.
Despite a heavy shuffling in the federal cabinet, including a change in portfolio of food security minister Khusro Bakhtiar, President Arif Alvi had said that the PTI government is not in troubled waters.
The prime minister and the president both put their weight behind the detailed forensic report, with the former threatening strict action against profiteers.
“I await the detailed forensic reports now by the high-powered commission, which will come out on 25 April, before taking action,” the prime minister had said in a tweet.
Tareen had responded to the revelations made in the report, saying he would challenge the committee investigating the sugar and wheat crises if it held him responsible.
Tareen, PTI’s former general secretary, said that out of the Rs3bn subsidy to the sugar mills, Rs2.5bn were given when the PML-N was in power.
In an earlier tweet, Tareen provided explanation on the crisis.
“Some points to note on sugar inquiry report (1)..My companies exported 12.28% while my market share is 20% so less than I could Have
(2). Export was on first come First serve basis (3) Of the total Rs 3 bn subsidy rec’d Rs 2.5 Bn came when N was in power and I was in opposition,” he tweeted.
Earlier, a report by the FIA had claimed that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country. Among the people named were Jahangir Khan Tareen and Bakhtiar’s brother.
The report also claimed that the companies belonging to Moonis Elahi profited from the sugar crisis. Elahi is Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s son and a key member of the PML-Q, an ally of the ruling party.
The document did not mention under whose influence the government of Punjab had issued the subsidies to sugar mills or why the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) had approved the decision to export sugar.